Video: Dialing in your Forward Stroke

Boaters of all levels can benefit from this in-depth tutorial by professional kayaker Michelle Ramazza

By David Spiegel

Want some paddling advice? Watch this video. It may be relatively long and slow-paced compared to your average kayaking edit, but suck it up. We promise it's worth your time. (It's about 1000 percent more worthwhile than that Buzzfeed "Top 17 Reasons why…" post you'll click if you go back to Facebook.)

Whether you're a beginning paddler who wants to build a solid foundation or you're an experienced Class V kayaker, every boater will benefit from honing their forward stroke. So spend some time practicing the tips laid out in this video by Adidas team member Michelle Ramazza, one of the world's top professional paddlers.

The forward stroke is a basic paddling skill, but that does not mean make it simple to learn. Everyone gives the advice of "rotate your torso," but few paddlers can clearly articulate what that means and break it down into its constituent parts. This video gives a really good overview of how and why torso rotation is so important to all disciplines of paddling. It also explains how torso rotation connects with intricate details of grip, wrist angle, and arm movement that can make the forward stroke more efficient and prevent injuries.

I find myself watching this video about once per month to refresh my memory. It hasn't just helped to relieve some overuse injuries that I was exacerbating with imperfect form; it has improved my day-to-day paddling on the river.

–Check out more SKILLS VIDEOS and tips from C&K.